Everyone seems to like pigs a little bit more these days, especially tea-cup pigs but our family loves real farm pigs.
For twenty years we have raised meat birds, laying hens, four pigs a year, a calf and had an old horse and a beautiful warm-blooded horse. There are many hilariously episodes to tell of our adventures with animals but some of the most amusing and heart warming have to do with pigs.
Athough we treat our pigs like pets, we don’t feel bad about eating them because they live happy free lives at our farm. I call our pork, chicken and beef ‘happy meat’. I must admit though, there was one poignant moment when three-year old Katie stared at the meat on her fork and asked,
“Is this Josie?”
I was standing behind her about to help someone else cut their meat and I waved my hands frantically and mouthed NO.
All the kids lied obediently and said ,
“No, Katie, that’s just a pork chop.”
Katie smiled and started eating.
When our little piglets are delivered they literally leap and twist in utter bliss as they emerge from the truck because they have never breathed fresh air, seen the sun or touched the dirt or vegetation. They dive into the tall weeds, making pathways and flatten little areas so they can sunbathe, rest under a tree, make their way to the food, their mud bath and the low wooden shed with straw bedding. Pigs are very clean and they love to be sprayed with water from a hose; it helps sunburns as does a good thick coating of mud. I don’t know who has more fun-the kids holding the hose or the pigs.
Pigs are very intelligent. Once four HUGE pigs got loose and were running down the lane. Michael yelled, “Hey boys, come on back.”
The pigs stopped in their tracks, turned around and they came running back.
Michael likes to hang out with the pigs, give them treats or scratch behind their ears until they fall asleep.
You know that saying, “don’t eat like a pig”?
Well it has little meaning till you see pigs dive in up to their eye balls in jam soaked feed and fresh weeds and garden surplus. During our first year raising pigs our manure soaked garden grew giant vegetables. We fed the pigs a ton of broccoli.
The neighbours still rave about the delicious ham with only a quarter-inch of fat on it!